First Lady of Ukraine Calls for Return of Children “Abducted” by Russia

Ukraine’s First Lady, Olena Zelenska, has made an impassioned plea to the international community to help bring back Ukrainian children who have been forcibly taken to Russia and occupied territories. Speaking on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, she expressed grave concerns about the fate of these children, who she says are being indoctrinated to hate Ukraine and are losing their national identity. With over 19,000 Ukrainian children affected by this crisis, the urgency of the situation cannot be overstated.

The Disturbing Numbers

Olena Zelenska revealed a distressing statistic: more than 19,000 Ukrainian children have been subjected to forced transfers or deportations to Russia or occupied territories. These children, who should be enjoying their formative years in the safety of their homes, are now facing an uncertain and troubling future.

Only a Fraction Returned

Despite ongoing efforts, only 386 of these abducted children have been successfully brought back home to Ukraine. The challenges of repatriating the remaining children are considerable, as they have been exposed to a harmful narrative that seeks to sever their ties to their homeland.

A Dark Indoctrination

In Russia, these abducted children are subjected to a sinister narrative. They are told that their parents no longer want them, that their country has abandoned them, and that there is no place for them in Ukraine. Perhaps most alarmingly, they are being taught to renounce their Ukrainian identity and embrace a Russian one. This brainwashing is a cause for grave concern, as it erases the cultural and national roots of these innocent children.

President Zelensky’s Plea

President Volodymyr Zelensky, in his address to the General Assembly, did not mince words. He characterized Russia’s actions as genocidal, highlighting the urgency of the situation. The president emphasized the critical importance of bringing these children back home, where they can be shielded from the toxic influences that seek to instill hatred.

Russian Denial

Russia vehemently denies these allegations, asserting instead that they are rescuing Ukrainian children from the horrors of war. This stark difference in perspective only deepens the complexity of the situation and underscores the need for international intervention.

International Criminal Court Warrants

The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s presidential commissioner for children’s rights, on charges related to war crimes and the unlawful deportation of Ukrainian children. This highlights the seriousness with which the international community views these allegations.

The Human Toll of Conflict

The conflict between Ukraine and Russia has exacted a devastating human toll. Over 500 children have lost their lives since the invasion, and many more have been left maimed or wounded. These innocent lives have been forever altered by the brutality of war.

Allegations of Sexual Violence

Ukrainian authorities are investigating over 230 cases of sexual violence committed by Russian soldiers against civilians, including 13 children. These horrifying allegations underscore the urgent need for intervention to protect vulnerable populations.

A Plea to the United Nations

First Lady Olena Zelenska has made a heartfelt plea to the United Nations, calling on the organization to help save Ukrainian children. She seeks assistance in gathering information about the children taken to Russia and creating safe corridors for their return. The plea is a powerful reminder of the responsibility the international community bears in protecting the rights and futures of innocent children.

A Call for Unity

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin has called for a legal mechanism, similar to the one facilitating grain exports, to expedite the return of Ukrainian children. He stressed the importance of international unity in resolving this crisis.


The plight of Ukrainian children forcibly taken to Russia and occupied territories is a humanitarian crisis that demands immediate attention. Olena Zelenska’s impassioned plea at the United Nations serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for action. The fate of these innocent children hangs in the balance, and the international community must unite to ensure their safe return home.

Why are Ukrainian children being forcibly taken to Russia and occupied territories?

Ukrainian children are being forcibly taken to Russia and occupied territories as part of the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia. These actions have resulted in the abduction and displacement of innocent children.

What is the scale of the issue involving Ukrainian children?

According to First Lady Olena Zelenska, more than 19,000 Ukrainian children have been affected by forced transfers or deportations to Russia or occupied territories.

How many of these abducted children have been successfully repatriated to Ukraine?

To date, only 386 of the abducted Ukrainian children have been successfully brought back to their homeland.

What are the consequences of these children being taken to Russia?

These abducted children are subjected to indoctrination, being told that their parents and their country no longer want them. They are also taught to renounce their Ukrainian identity and embrace a Russian one.

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